Coronavirus: Index Case Will Be Discharged After Second Negative Test – Health Minister

A file photo of Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
A file photo of Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that Nigeria’s first case, who is an Italian man that recently tested negative of COVID-19 will be discharged after a second negative test has been carried out on him.

The Italian has been in quarantine and receiving treatment since he contracted the virus in February.

Dr Ehanire made the announcement at a briefing in Abuja on Friday while giving an update on the spread of the virus in the country.

The minister said so far Nigeria, has recorded a total of 12 cases with nine out of the cases from Lagos.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Index Case Tests Negative For Coronavirus

He expressed concern over the influx of infected travellers into the country.

According to him, “Nigeria is experiencing an influx of imported COVID-19 cases by travellers including returning Nigerians and this emphasizes the importance of self-isolation for a minimum of 14 days, even if you feel that you are well.

“Of the reported cases, eight are travellers from Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and France”.

The Health Minister explained that three cases are contacts of the imported case while one case confirmed on Thursday has no travel history within the last month but may have met with foreign visitors.

He noted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is working closely with the Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti state governments to carry out contact tracing.

“I emphasize that the contact tracing is very important but all I urge all states local government, law enforcement authorities and community leaders to give full co-operation to investigators,” the minister said.

“Following the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the increasing spread of the COVID-19, our strategy is to detect and isolate new cases, to interrupt or reduce transmission of infection.”

To this end, he said, “we have scaled up our response effort to reduce the risk of new cases entering Nigeria, the government through the Presidential Task Force on the Coronavirus announced the prohibition of entry for travellers from 13 known high-risk countries and for better control of new arrivals, international travels to Nigeria has been temporarily limited.”

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